Clinton Anderson’s Method for Handling Aggressive Horses
Clinton Anderson from Downunder Horsemanship has a tried-and-true method for getting aggressive or unwilling horses to behave. An important step in the training process is teaching the horses’ owners how to be leaders and effectively communicate with their horses. In this training session, Clinton works with Kim Powers to train an unruly horse named Jack. Kim has been around horses her whole life and now works as a trainer and professional barefoot trimmer. She was introduced to Jack when he was a yearling, and he possessed the typical naughty traits of a young, uneducated horse. After years of being on his own as a pasture pet, Jack now sees himself as having more power than the humans that he’s surrounded by. He continually pins his ears back, takes small nips or bites, and even charges at people who enter his pen.
Due to his overtly aggressive behavior – he will dive at anyone that tries to get close – Jack’s owner got back in contact with Kim to work on fixing his behavioral issues. Despite Kim’s training efforts, Jack’s behavior just kept getting worse. After a few close calls and unprovoked attempted attacks, Kim felt like she wasn’t the right person for the job and insisted she needed someone bigger, braver, and more knowledgeable to help get Jack back in line. That’s when she got in touch with Clinton Anderson.
Clinton believes that getting horses to behave is simple and more often than not it’s the owners who need the help. The first step he took with Jack was removing the obstacles in his pen that Kim had used to shield herself from attacks. The goal is to earn the horse’s respect without fear, and that’s hard to do when the horse knows you’re scared of him.
To gain back control, Clinton starts moving Jack’s feet forwards, backwards, left and right, asking him to move around the pen in a specific way. When Jack responds to Clinton’s cues, Clinton steps outside of his pen to give Jack a complete release of pressure and let him know that he’s giving Clinton the correct answer.
Clinton works directly with Kim to teach her this training method so that she can continue working with Jack on her own and gain back her leadership role with a confident attitude.
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